Motivational Interviewing and Addiction Treatment

Patients who seek treatment for addiction often suffer from depleted self-confidence and can feel hopeless against their addiction. Motivational Interviewing is a strategy in addiction treatment that is used to encourage those suffering from substance abuse to change their lifestyle and embrace treatment. Methods and techniques of addiction treatment are constantly evolving and becoming more personalized for effectiveness. Doctors and scientists have been working together to study the brains reaction to different treatments and better understand what parts of the brain that addiction effects. With that being said, motivational interviewing has become a strong method for treatment and was curated based on the idea that one must first recognize why their addiction manifested in the first place before they can make changes to prevent it from reoccurring in the future.

Motivational Interviewing begins with building a bond between the patient and the therapist so that together they can evaluate the root of the addiction. It is the role of the therapist to help the patient come up with ideas on their own such as maybe I began using drugs as a coping method for all the stress I felt at school. People generally don’t usually like being told why they feel a certain way, and motivational interviewing helps patients to pinpoint their weaknesses on their own.

Time and time again we hear how addiction treatment is only as strong as the addicts desire to recover. Counseling that uses motivational interviewing inspires patients to accept recovery and take control of their life. A successful and trained counselor in motivational interviewing helps a patient take responsibility for their actions, feel power over their addiction, and in control of what direction their recovery goes. This is accomplished following the stages of change.

Pre-contemplation – the “denial stage”¬†often addicts don’t want to recognize their faults or addiction and will deny it full on. Even those who admit to having a problem are usually hesitant or resistant to treatment at first. The precontemplation phase is when the addict deflects their addiction.

Contemplation– the addict recognizes the problem but isn’t fully sold on the fact it can be fixed. Counselors helps patients to weigh the pros and cons of treatment.

Preparation – The addict and the counselor set goals and attainable ones at that. Lifestyle changes are mapped out in small steps by the therapist and the patient in order to successfully attain and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Action – This stage is when the addict is fully committed to recovery and modifying their behavior in a positive way. This could be leaving treatment and entering a sober living facility, attending AA meetings regularly, and continuing counseling with the therapist.

Maintenance – Continues to make the right decisions and engages in activities that promote sobriety. Finding a sponsor or support system as well as practicing relapse prevention.

Motivational therapy is a strong method of addiction treatment and works for many trying to recover. Due to the fact that the addict makes the choices on their own and is only guided by the therapist they are ultimately choosing their own fate.

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.